Please select your home edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Fisher's View- Day 4 ACWS Venice - Big crowds for slow day in Venice

by Bob Fisher on 21 May 2012
Final day in Venice. Luna Rossa - Swordfish Carlo Borlenghi ©

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Venice, Italy for the fifth round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day 4 - America's Cup World Series - Venice, Italy

The America's Cup World Series is not the only spectacle in town - there is also the Festa della Sensa, an annual festival held on Ascension Day. It is one of the city's best-known festivals of its thousand-year history. It began in 1000 AD and the second event was 177 years later and has been held annually since. It is the rite of the 'Wedding with the Sea,' when the Mayor of Venice throws a symbolic gold ring into the sea.

Hoards of boats, mostly propelled by oars gathered in the basin off St. Marks and there was a regatta for two-oared and four-oared gondolas - not the big black ones that young lovers chose to take for sight-seeing, but brightly coloured light shells. They formed an impressive sight as they gathered early in the morning. After the racing, the boats paraded to the church of St. Nicolo at the Lido, close to the finishing line of the races, for a special service. AC45s made an appearance in the basin before the racing.

The ACWS has certainly captured the imagination of the Venetians. For Saturday's racing there were in excess of a thousand spectator boats (counted from helicopter-shot images) and over 100,000 spectators along the shoreline. The attendance in the AC Village was 14,500 and you can take it from me that that was probably understated - it was extremely crowded.

The day's activities for the AC45s began with a series of speed (trials) - the wind Gods were not cooperating with the competitors and even the top speed was low.

Final speeds in knots'

Luna Rossa - Piranha 13.39
Energy Team 13.00
Luna Rossa - Swordfish 12.75
Emirates Team New Zealand 9.19
Artemis 8.52
Oracle Team - Spithill 8.04
Oracle Team – Bundock 7.75
Team Korea 7.12
China Team 7.01

This was followed by the final of the Match Racing Championship of Venice, a single race affair, between Terry Hutchinson's crew in Artemis Racing and the local favourite, Luna Rossa - Piranha, skippered by Chris Draper, fresh from his speed trial success.

Hutchinson, coming into the start box on starboard, gained the upper hand and crossed the start line with a two-boat lead. From there, Draper, fought hard but never managed to close the gap, finishing half a minute behind. It further improved Artemis Racing's overall position at the top of the season's match racing championship.

Fleet Race

This was a desperately light-air race and the master of catamaran racing, Loick Peyron, gave his competitors a master-class in the art and skills of sailing these boats - it was pretty to behold, except from the aspect of the other eight teams. At the third mark, he was almost a whole leg ahead of the next boat, Jimmy Spithill with Oracle Team -Spithill. Behind them, there was a log-jam at the mark with multiple penalties from inevitable collisions. Artemis Racing was the first of the rest to get clear, then ETNZ and Oracle Racing - Bundock.

At one stage, Peyron led by seven minutes.

The wind fell lighter and lighter as the race progressed and boat speeds were well down - not the spectacle that the organisers, or the crowd lining the shore, had hoped. Five knots was a good speed and while initially the gaps had been big, they reduced in size towards the end with Oracle Team - Spithill closing the gap to the leader on every leg. What had been more than 500 metres, slowly came down to just 1:41 at the last mark. Peyron appeared to be dead in the water and it needed all his undoubted skill to stay in fron. He finally achieved this by blocking Spithill on the last gybe in to the line to take the winning gun by a nine second margin.

Eventually, only two other boats finished the race within the time limit, Artemis Racing narrowly beat Emirates Team New Zealand

Fleet Race:

1. Energy Team
2. Oracle Team USA - Spithill
3. Artemis Racing
4. Emirates Team New Zealand

2011-12 AC World Series Overall Championship Leaderboard (after five of six events)
1. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…84 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand…80 points
3. Artemis Racing…71 points
4. Energy Team…65 points
5. Team Korea…56 points
6. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…53 points
7. Luna Rossa Piranha…34 points
8. China Team…31 points
9. Luna Rossa Swordfish…21 points

AC World Series Venice Fleet Racing Championship – Final Leaderboard
1. Energy Team…74 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…58 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand…54 points
4. Artemis Racing…52 points
5. Luna Rossa Piranha…43 points
6. Luna Rossa Swordfish…43 points
7. Team Korea…37 points
8. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…22 points
9. China Team…18 points

AC World Series Venice Match Racing Championship
Final Match: Artemis Racing defeated Luna Rossa - Piranha; 1-0
1. Artemis Racing
2. Luna Rossa Piranha
4. Energy Team
5. Emirates Team New Zealand
6. Team Korea
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
9. China Team
*The losers of the Semi Final and Quarter Final matches have been assigned final finishing positions (3rd through 9th) in the Match Racing Championship as per the Sailing Instructions.

upffront 660x82InSunSport - NZBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug